Since the Taylormade r540’s have worked so well for me, I thought it would be worthwhile focusing on some other classic game improving irons from the manufacturer. As a result, I decided to do a Taylormade r7 irons review, to show that the older model is still a viable option for many of you mid to high handicappers.
Things To Consider Before Buying a Set of Irons
If you are in the market for a new set of irons, there are a variety of factors to take into account. Most importantly, what is your budget? If it is on the lower side, your options will be reduced. But, considering how many iron products are available on the market, there is something for everyone, at every price point.
Once you have a budget in mind the next step is to decide on your preferred type of clubhead, level of forgiveness, distance, and spin.
Before buying a new set of irons, it is best to put together a budget, which will be your main guiding factor during the process. Before putting together your budget do some research on the type of irons you want, and the best price you can get them for. That helps you put together a realistic budget, and manages your expectations, during the process.
Remember, once you have purchased your irons, you need to buy a driver, and some woods, as well as a putter and additional wedges. Spend your money wisely.
The most common clubheads that amateur golfers opt for are over-sized, mid-sized, and blade irons. Mid to higher handicap players tend to prefer oversize clubs, as it offers a larger sweet spot, and is more forgiving.
Mid to lower handicap golfers tend to play with mid-size heads, as the clubs still have a large sweet spot, but they are less chunky. That makes it easier to control your launch and the shape of your shots.
Lower single figure handicap players more often than not play with blade clubheads, which are smaller, and less forgiving. However, the weight behind the small sweet spot offers better control, spin, and launch when you hit a perfect shot.
Middling your shot is not as common as we would like it to be, especially for mid to high handicap golfers. Therefore owning a forgiving set of irons can go a long way to keeping you out of trouble, on your mis-hits.
The bigger sweet spot, and the increased weight in the sole of the irons, help your ball get air and distance even when you don’t catch all of it. The larger sole distributes more weight to the toe and heel of the club.
The smaller your clubhead is, the less forgiving your irons are likely to be. Even if blades are incredibly good-looking creations, your ultimate goal is to lower your score, whether your clubhead looks good or not.
The core shaft options have not changed much since Cobra released graphite shafts In 1985. Today, it’s still either steel or graphite, but with varying levels of stiffness and flexibility. The type of flexibility is completely dependent on your swing.
The flex options include extra stiff, stiff, regular, senior, and ladies. Extra stiff shafts are for the long hitter who is swinging at upwards of 90 miles per hour. These shafts come in steel and are used by pros and lower handicap golfers.
Stiff shafts are suitable for you if your clubhead speed reaches the higher 80 mph mark. These shafts can be purchased in steel or graphite and are ideal for the lower handicap player.
Regular shafts are for players who are swinging above 75 mph but below the average speed of a stiff shaft player. If you are consistently driving the ball slightly below the 240-yard mark, then the regular shafts are better suited for your game. These shafts are available in steel and graphite.
The senior shaft option is suitable if you have a slower swing speed, registering below the 75mph region. The shafts are most common in graphite, to allow for maximum flex.
Finally, the ladies shaft is for players with a swing speed of 60mph and below. Like the senior shaft, they come in graphite. The flex of the club helps players with slower swing speeds generate maximum ball speed, to allow for longer carry.
When it comes to distance, you need to decide between clubs that will help you hit extra long when you middle it or consistently long, even on mishits. Oversized and mid-sized clubheads are more forgiving and will help you get better launch and distance, even if you hit the ball with the heel or the toe of the face.
There is no better sound or feeling for a golfer when we pull off a crisp blade shot. However, when we don’t middle the ball these clubs are less forgiving and can reduce your distance significantly.
Mid to high handicappers looking to improve their distance consistency should consider a forgiving set of irons.
Taylormade R7 Irons
- Improves height and launch
- Consistent distance
- Faster ball speed
- The offset and weight distribution of the clubheads, help your irons stay balanced at impact, to hit straighter shots
- Chunky heads
- Old range of irons
- Less distance than with blades
- Not suited to lower handicap golfers
Taylormade first made their name with a 12 degree lofted driver. In the 1979 Tournament of Champions, Jim Simons and Ron Streck put the driver to the test. They used the club as a 3-wood which they hit off the deck.
The company would expand its offering in the 1980s when it started to produce irons. In the early days, the clubs were designed for better plays, with a blade-like clubhead. But over the years their offerings have expanded to cater to the mid to higher handicapped golfer.
Since the r7 irons were released, Taylormade has gone on to release dozens of new sets, embracing innovative technology. That may rule out acquiring the r7’s if you want the latest and greatest equipment. But, if you are a beginner or mid handicapper, that is on a tight budget and looking for a solid set of clubs, then these are for you.
Features & Benefits
Cavity Back Irons
The weight on cavity back irons is pushed away from the clubface and is fitted in the sole of the club. This gives you better launch, distance, and direction, even on heel and toe strikes.
Cavity back irons offer you maximum forgiveness and are the type of clubs that are a match made in heaven, for mid to higher handicap players.
Inverted Cone Technology
Sir Nick Faldo could not have simplified the explanation of Taylormade’s inverted cone technology any better. It enhances the sweet spot of the clubface, which increases your ball speed and gives you distance even on mishits.
When the r7 6 iron was tested against the products of Taylormade’s biggest competitors, it did not disappoint in terms of distance. The Callaway X18, Fusion Wide Sole, Ping G5, and the Nike Slingshot 6 irons averaged just below 170 yards, while the r7 traveled consistently around 175 yards.
When the clubhead’s leading edge is set behind the leading edge of the neck, the club is offset. The design enables you to get your hands forward and lead the iron. giving you a more powerful launch resulting in faster ball speed that gives you more distance and accuracy.
Offset clubs are common in the game improvement category and are generally fitted with cavity backs, offering maximum forgiveness, distance, and accuracy on mishits.
Taylormade applied a damping web to the r7 clubheads, which were crafted using soft aluminum and an advanced bonding compound. The damping web reduces vibrations and absorbs shock on impact, giving you a smooth solid feel.
The irons are available in REAX Taylormade 65 gram lightweight graphite, and T Step 90 gram stainless steel. Both shafts have been engineered to help you generate more power at launch, improving the distance of your iron shots.
Taylormade used their trademark grips on these irons. The abundance of short slots in the grip creates cells, that give you a smooth, comfortable feeling when holding the club. This helps to alleviate the sensation of any vibrations at impact.
Taylormade R7 Iron Alternatives
1. Mizuno JPX900 Irons
The target market of these irons is broad, as it caters to low and high handicap players. These midsize irons, have a heavy sole and are slightly offset helping the higher handicap player get the ball in the air easier. However, the look and feel on impact is attractive even for the lower handicap player.
These irons were crafted using 1025 Boron steel that was forged using the grain flow process, which Mizuno is renowned for. This method makes the club 30% firmer, which will see the ball fly off the clubface faster, and ultimately result in more distance for you. All this is achieved without the feel of the club being affected.
The shafts are midweight, and suit players with both fast and slow swings, as it offers you an incredible amount of stability.
2. Tour Edge Hot Launch 2 Irons
David Glod, the President of Tour Edge says that these irons were created with a focus on forgiveness. The clubhead contains more toe weight which enhances the sweet spot of the face, and keeps your direction and distance consistent, even on mishits.
As is the case with most cavity back irons, the weight is forced away from the face of the club and into the sole. The increased weight in the sole, helps you maintain distance, direction, and ball speed.
Tour Edge opted to use 431 stainless steel to produce these irons, resulting in a smooth feeling club from the backswing through to launch. This is the same stainless steel that you find on Ping ‘i’ irons.
The Hot Launch 2 irons are an entry-level set at an affordable price. The oversized heads may deter many mid to lower handicappers, but these are an excellent option for beginners or higher handicap players.
The forgiveness and consistency of distance and direction will help put you in the position to make more pars and birdies.
3. Cobra F-Max Irons
The objective of the F-Max irons is the same as that of the JPX900’s and the Hot 2 sets. Cobra designed these clubs to generate a faster ball speed, giving your ball more airtime and distance.
You will find that the weight of the F-Max clubs is set down in the sole of the clubhead. This promotes improved launch and allows the club to forgive you on mishits out of the heel or the toe.
Cobra weakened the loft on the F-Max irons by one or two degrees per club, making it easier for you to get your ball airborne. When manufacturers say that they have weakened the loft of the club, it means they have designed it with a higher degree of loft.
These irons were made for the slower swinging player who struggles to achieve sufficient ball speed on shots. Keep these irons in mind, If you are a mid-to higher handicap golfer or a senior.
Golf enthusiasts may rule out the r7 range, due to its age, but this is another exceptionally crafted range by Taylormade, that still has a place in the game of golf.
If you are looking for game improving irons that offer maximum forgiveness, a more powerful launch, and consistent distance, then the r7 irons tick all of your boxes.
This set is better suited for mid to high handicap players, who are looking for more consistency in their game. However, if you are on a tight budget and want to own a reputable brand, then these are highly recommendable.
If the Taylormade r7 irons have piqued your interest, you can find out more about it here.
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Nick Lomas is the founder of GolfSpan, an avid golfer, not quite a pro but has over 15-years of experience playing and coaching golfers from all over the world. His mission is to bring the golfing community a better experience then it comes to choosing the right golf gear, and finding the right set up for your game.